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  4. Marci E. Gluck, Ph.D.

Marci E. Gluck, Ph.D.

Professional Experience

  • Director of Behavioral Sciences, Research Clinical Psychologist, NIH/NIDDK, Phoenix Epidemiology & Clinical Research Branch, Obesity & Diabetes Clinical Research Section, 2006-present
  • Staff Scientist, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital, Obesity Research Center, 2002-2006
  • NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital, Obesity Research Center, 1999-2002
  • Predoctoral Internship, Yale University School of Medicine, 1998-1999
  • M.A. and Ph.D. Clinical-Health Psychology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, 1999
  • B.A. Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, 1992

Research Goal

Our goal is to better understand mechanisms controlling food intake and individual differences in ability to regulate food choices. We are also trying to understand how behavioral and neurocognitive processes affect eating behavior and metabolic factors.

Current Research

My research focuses on the integration of physiological, neuropsychological and behavioral factors in the study of obesity and eating behaviors. Mechanisms controlling food intake and individual differences in ability to regulate food choices are topics that are poorly understood. It is well-known that psychological factors (e.g. emotional states) and neurocognitive brain functions (e.g. the prefrontal cortex, which is mainly involved in self-control, reward processing and decision making) can influence appetitive behavior and weight change. In my lab, we are trying to understand how these behavioral and cognitive processes affect eating behavior and metabolic factors using psychological questionnaires and neuropsychological performance tasks. Additionally, I have a long-standing interest in the study of binge eating disorder, the night eating syndrome, and the relationship between stress and eating.

I am currently the PI of a study examining the effects of non-invasive brain stimulation (transcranial direct current stimulation [tDCS]) to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) on food intake and weight loss. In this study we are also using fMRI as a tool for identifying the mechanism of action and also confirmation of target engagement.

Applying our Research

Understanding the influences of cognitive function, psychological well-being and metabolic factors in obesity could lead to the development of new treatment strategies. These factors could then be used to help constructing patient profiles to aid in identifying appropriate interventions and improve weight loss outcomes.

Need for Further Study

It is critical to identify the role of the brain in regulating food intake and reward-related behaviors. In addition, developing a greater understanding of the relationship between behavior and physiology will enable researchers to develop and test more effective weight loss and/or weight gain prevention models.

Select Publications

Perceived stress and anhedonia predict short-and long-term weight change, respectively, in healthy adults.
Ibrahim M, Thearle MS, Krakoff J, Gluck ME.
Eat Behav (2016 Apr) 21:214-9. Abstract/Full Text
Neuromodulation targeted to the prefrontal cortex induces changes in energy intake and weight loss in obesity.
Gluck ME, Alonso-Alonso M, Piaggi P, Weise CM, Jumpertz-von Schwartzenberg R, Reinhardt M, Wassermann EM, Venti CA, Votruba SB, Krakoff J.
Obesity (Silver Spring) (2015 Nov) 23:2149-56. Abstract/Full Text
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Research in Plain Language

My research focuses on the psychological and biological factors related to obesity and eating behaviors. The processes that control food intake and the regulation of food choices are topics that are poorly understood. It is well-known that psychological factors (e.g. emotional states) and cognitive brain functions (e.g. an area called the prefrontal cortex, which is mainly involved in self-control, reward processing and decision making) can influence appetitive behavior and weight change. In my lab, we are trying to understand how these behavioral and cognitive processes affect eating behavior and metabolic factors using behavioral questionnaires and neuropsychological performance tasks. Additionally, I have a long-standing interest in the study of binge eating disorder, the night eating syndrome, and the relationship between stress and eating.